The smell of the dry leaf is interesting – I feel so close to placing it but just can’t. It’s a little sour (in a grape-ish way), a bit musty (in a hay-like way) and a bit sweet (in a honey-type way).
I’m giving this a go sans milk and sugar though, based on smell and just the general nature of breakfast teas, I suspect this might be best with some additives.
Okay, this is a bit weird. The front end of the sip has a very nice flavor – sort of honeyed malt with a dash of maybe peaches? – and it leads me to expect great things. But then it just sort of fizzles. The taste just tanks into this flat, thin, woody textured… thing. And the aftertaste leaves me feeling like I’ve just licked a used cardboard box.
The description of this tea says it is supposed to be “complex and uplifting”. I’m going to assume the uplift portion of the program is caffeine and just focus on the “complex” bit. If by complex you mean confusing, sure, I’ll go with that. But other that that flash of brilliant potential at the beginning, there’s nothing complex about this tea. The bulk of the taste feels… hollowed out. Like there are things happening around the edges but it fades out when it gets to the center, where it should be wowing me with yum.
And now I’m noticing, after each sip when the aftertaste hits, I keep making a face like I smell something bad. I don’t, in fact, smell something bad, but this tea leaves a bitter aftertaste. Not normal Assam bitter which I associate as a nutty bitter that is bitter, yes, but not entirely unpleasant. This bitter reminds me of when my trash smells a little funky and needs to be taken out even if the bag isn’t full.
I’m not quite half way through my cup and I wish I were done. Well, can’t hurt to add sugar and milk, so let’s see how it is then…. Better. The bitter end note and thin middle taste is gone but sadly so is the flash of pretty at the front. Instead, I’m tasting a fairly unimpressive but pretty drinkable tea. In fact, it gives me flashes of having tea with my English host family oh-so-many years ago. I can practically picture their living room and hear the mom’s voice apologizing for her bad language.
For bringing up happy memories, I will not hate this tea. In fact, I made have a tiny soft spot for it now, if only when it has been sugared and milked. (Uhm, not milked like a cow. You know what I mean.) But I will never again drink it straight. And I might only drink it doctored when I’m feeling sad or nostalgic. Therefore I give this tea a very strong ‘meh’.